Marked elliptocytosis and schistocytosis are described as unusual manifestations of haematopoietic dysplasia in two patients. The first patient, whose history was negative for inherited haemolytic anaemias, presented these prominent features on his first admission; 22 months later he developed an acute myeloblastic leukaemia. In the second patient, followed since 4 years for an autoimmune thrombocytopenic purpura, elliptocytosis and schistocytosis appeared 17 months before a pancytopenia established. The patient is now on follow-up and is treated for a refractory anaemia. In both cases bone marrow examinations revealed the typical criteria for myelodysplasia and this diagnosis was confirmed by cytogenetic analysis.